20 September 2017

European Commission reports on feasibility of a financial instrument-NGOs urge that it is necessary to hold the shipping industry accountable

The European Commission released its report on the viability of a financial incentive for sustainable ship recycling under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation this week. Whilst it acknowledges the benefits for clean and safe ship recycling such an incentive would bring, the European Commission has decided to wait with its introduction. NGOs urge the EU to take action now as it is well documented that ship owners will with ease be able to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation by simply swapping the flag of their vessel to that of a non-EU State.

The report of the European Commission is based on the study which was conducted by Ecorys, DNV-GL and the University of Rotterdam/Erasmus, and published at the end of 2016. The proposed instrument in the study is in the form of a licence which each ship, regardless of its flag, needs to acquire in order to enter EU ports. This licence can be bought monthly, yearly, or every 5 years, depending on the trading requirements, and will be ship-specific. At the end of the ship’s life, the money spent on buying the licences will have been put aside and can be paid back to the last owner of that ship once it is recycled at a facility which is approved according to the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. Such an incentive will offset the higher profits made when selling to substandard shipbreaking yards and ensure the proper recycling of EU-trading ships regardless of their flags.

In the report published on 8 August, the European Commission sees this system of the Ship Recycling Licence as a workable solution if it is demonstrated that there are many ships that will flag out to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, thereby weakening its effectiveness. All EU-flagged vessels will have to be recycled in an EU-approved facility starting from the end of 2018 at the latest. Only once it is clear what the effects of the EU List are on the recycling choices of shipowners, will the Commission consider whether to go ahead with introducing the Ship Recycling Licence. Therefore, if shipowners choose to recycle their vessels responsibly in a facility on the EU List and do not flag out in order to circumvent the Ship Recycling Regulation, the Commission believes that it will not be necessary to introduce a financial mechanism.

However, flagging out at end-of-life is a practice which is already widespread. Most shipowners sell their obsolete vessels to so-called cash buyers. These scrap-dealers become the new owners of the ships and both re-name and re-flag the vessels for their last voyage to the beaching yards in South Asia. Particularly popular registries amongst the cash buyers are the Paris MoU grey- and black-listed flags of Comoros, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis – flags that are known for their poor implementation of laws governing labour rights and environmental protection at sea. Maersk also already threatened that it would flag out its fleet from the Danish registry if the Alang beaching yards they have recently chosen to use are not approved by the EU. Swapping the flag of a ship is easy and makes it very simple for cash buyers and shipowners to circumvent the law. The motivation for doing so is also simple: dirty and dangerous shipbreaking brings higher profits due to the lack of investments in infrastructure, illicit handling of hazardous wastes and extremely poor working conditions. For these reasons the NGO Shipbreaking Platform urges the EU Commission to not wait for the effects of the EU List, but instead show that it intends to take all measures possible to change the current deplorable shipping practices and commit now to making a legislative proposal to introduce a financial incentive.

“The huge benefit of this licence scheme is that it will also apply to non-EU flagged ships, meaning that the scope of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation will be much wider and will truly be a driving force for change in the shipping industry”, says Ingvild Jenssen, Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “Those shipowners that are already taking responsibility for their end-of-life fleet should be supportive of the Ship Recycling Licence as it will create a level playing field ensuring that also their competitors pay the price of clean and safe ship recycling,” she adds.

Legislation based on flag state jurisdiction alone is far too easy to circumvent. That is why more policies aimed at improving the social and environmental performance of shipping is being enforced via port state control. The Ship Recycling Licence is as such in line with international trade law. Taking also into account the widespread acknowledgement that financial incentives are key in ensuring the success of environmental policies, it seems obvious that a return scheme for ships is needed to change the behavior of shipowners that currently earn profits at the detriment of workers’ health and lives and the environment.

Source: hellenic shipping news. 12 August 2017

LYNNFIELD SHIP SAILS INTO OBLIVION

Plank by plank, the Ship Restaurant floating along the horizon of Route 1 is expected to be torn apart in the next two weeks.

Ted Regnante, a local attorney representing developers who plan to construct retail space in its place, said asbestos remediation and the crafting of a rodent control plan has delayed the demolition of the iconic building.

“But the plan is going forward,” said Regnante. “They have been working with a contractor and within the next week to two weeks, they will start demolition of the ship.”

The property is owned by Ship Mall LLC, a division of Allston-based Micozzi Management Inc. It was last purchased in 2007 for $16.5 million.

Plans include a 2,500-square-foot freestanding branch building for East Boston Savings Bank, 7,500-square-feet of retail space, and a 2,500-square-foot drive-up restaurant and coffee shop.

Once the demolition commences, Regnante estimates the entire project will take about four to five months.

A bit further down Route 1, the construction of a 68-unit condominium project at 2 Broadway is slated to begin at the start of September, said Regnante. The building will be comprised of mostly two-bedroom units and is expected to take about a year to complete. Regnante believes the combination of the two projects will enhance the area and create a more usable space and foot traffic for businesses.

Last spring, the Lynnfield Historical Commission voiced support of the project, once architectural plans for the plaza including several touches meant to honor the legacy of the nautical-themed building were unveiled.

The mast and other characteristics of the ship, including windows and glass on the second floor, the existing eagle and six stars, and the red and blue color scheme, will be included in the new construction.

“We’re creating some mementos for people to remember and people are excited about it,” said Regnante. “I think it’s going to be very successful.”

Source: item live. 11 August 2017

Ship recycling raised at CBRM council

Nobody wants a shipwrecker in their front yard.


The HMCS Preserver, shown here in drydock at Halifax Shipyards, will soon be broken up at the Sydport Industrial Park. (Staff)
The HMCS Preserver, shown here in drydock at Halifax Shipyards, will soon be broken up at the Sydport Industrial Park. (Staff)

The mere word conjures up images of leaking oil, rusted debris and overseas workers whose lives, in the absence of environmental regulation, are shortened by heavy metals and contaminated fluids. That may have driven Coun. Earlene McMullin’s displeasure during the Cape Breton Regional Municipality council meeting Tuesday.

“I’ve got a little bit of shake in my voice because it’s killing me to sit here and spend council’s time to get clarification on whether ships can be destroyed downtown on Commercial Street,” McMullin said. “I’ll breathe through the enragement, but it just seems so backward that I have to do that.”

McMullin was complaining about differing opinions she received from CBRM staff on whether Canadian Marine Engineering — which bought a waterfront park in downtown North Sydney from the municipality two years ago, bulldozed it and built a marine lift and repair shop — was legally entitled to also cut up ships for scrap metal.

So she asked again in public: “Where CME is located on Commercial Street, does the zoning permit either recycling or breaking of steel-hulled vessels, or any vessel, for that matter?”

“No,” answered planning director Malcolm Gillis.

The rumour that CME wanted to break ships in McMullin’s neighbourhood was sparked by a Transport Canada report that mentioned the company’s capacity for recycling ships of up to 2,500 tonnes.

But as Coun. Kendra Coombs pointed out, CME staff said they don’t intend to break ships in North Sydney, and as Gillis noted, CME owns facilities at other locations, including Dartmouth and Victoria, B.C. where it might be interested in doing that.

The not-in-my-backyard attitude to shipwrecking has not spread to the Sydport Industrial Park, where another company, Marine Recycling, began this week to break up the newly-arrived HMCS Preserver.

The first ship to come to Sydney to “die” in decades, the Preserver is around the 130th for MRC, which was founded by Wayne Elliot in Port Colborn, Ont.

Elliot hoped four years ago to expand to Sydney but after being denied two aged ferries from Marine Atlantic, which has a terminal in downtown North Sydney, he waited, knowing another chance would come along.

“Our federal government decided that Canadian-flagged vessels and government-owned vessels should be recycled in Canada to promote safe recycling as well as provide jobs and raw materials, and not ship those things offshore,” Elliot said.

“There are warships just coming to their end this year, and in a number of years down the road I suppose the frigates will start to be recycled. There are Coast Guard vessels and Department of Fishery vessels, and of course commercial vessels . . the biggest source of our work.”

In Sydney, MRC’s worksite is “not a very large space, really,” Elliot said. “A couple of acres and, of course, the dock. There won’t be materials stored on site. Once the material is processed . . . it will be shipped off site.

“Most of the ship components are metal. . .

“Metal is infinitely recyclable. What today is your vehicle may tomorrow be razor blades or something else. The beauty with metal recycling is the energy saving and of course the savings to the environment.”

When MRC recycles a ship, no part of it ends up in the water, he said. “Before we tow, liquids, oils or any water are removed from the vessel . . . We’ve done a number of successful tows since the new regulations and we’re very much in favour of them.

“When vessels do have accidents, sinkings, it’s those hydrocarbons that just keep on giving the carnage and so we’re fully supportive of that regulation.”

The company has had one major loss, in 2010, when a submarine caught fire as it was being dismantled, Elliot described that as a “freak accident” caused by floating debris.

“If safety is not first and foremost in this business, then one may not be in it too long. We’re very proud of our record. We’re the world’s oldest ISO certified ship recycler, since 2000.”

MRC was an unpaid consultant to Canada’s member of the Basel and Hong Kong Conventions when they were setting the rules and the policies around shipbreaking, Elliot said.

“It has become an environmental business, shipbreaking has. Other parts of the world that are sadly lacking in safety and environmental stewardship have begun to improve their operations. So, it’s all headed in the right direction.”

Source: the chronicle herald. 15 August 2017

ClassNK paves the way for HKC verification expansion to South-East Asia

Leading classification society ClassNK has completed the document review for a Ship Recycling Facility Plan (SRFP) submitted by Tsuneishi Ship Recycling (Negros), Inc. (TSRNI), verifying the facility to be in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC). This marks the first application by a recycling facility in South-East Asia submitted to ClassNK for verification, as well as the first facility designed to comply with the HKC standard from its planning stage.

TSRNI is planned for construction in Negros Occidental, the Philippines, and will be operated under the umbrella of Tsuneishi Group. In preparation for the completion of the facility, TSRNI developed the SRFP required to obtain certification by competent authority according to the HKC in the future. ClassNK reviewed the SRFP to examine that the document met with the HKC requirements. As the final part of the verification process, ClassNK will conduct the on-site inspection, including checks on facilities and actual recycling practices, when ship recycling work commences at TSRNI to confirm its processes conform to the SRFP.

Speaking on the occasion, ClassNK’s Junichi Hirata, Project Manager of Ship Recycling Team said: “The maritime industry needs appropriate capacity for the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling. We are delighted that TSRNI has chosen ClassNK to verify the facility and it practices. As the first South-East Asia initiative to carry out ship recycling in line with HKC, it represents a major step forward in our mission to promote and facilitate safe and environmentally-friendly ship recycling across the world. Utilizing experience and knowledge gained from our verification of facilities in Japan, China, India, and Turkey, we will proceed to verification process at TSRNI’s site with the same level of care and attention to detail to help promote safer and greener ship recycling throughout the world.”

Source: hellenic shipping news. 21 August 2017

Henna Scrapped in India:

The former HNA Henna has hit the beaches in India for scrapping, according to local sources.

Henna Scrapping

The 47,000-ton vessel was sold for scrap value earlier this year after a short service period with HNA in the Chinese market.

She originally launched in 1986 for Carnival Cruise Line as the newbuild Jubilee.

In 2004 she was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia as the Pacific Sun.

Eight years later she was sold to HNA, which started service with the ship in 2013 before winding down operations two years later.

Source: cruise industry news. 26 August 2017